Tattnall Board of Education (BOE) members and other Central Office staff toured the two new elementary schools in Tattnall County this week.
They visited the North Tattnall Elementary School (NTES), located on Hwy. 57 north of Reidsville at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 25, 2022, and South Tattnall Elementary School (STES) on Love’s Chapel in Glennville at 2 p.m., following the 1 p.m. BOE meeting. The faculty of both schools participated in the ribbon-cutting event at their respective schools.
The two elementary schools are essentially alike in square footage, materials, design, and colors. SP Design Group was the Architect/Engineer for the project, and TQ Constructors, Inc., was the General Contractor. The school buildings were constructed to last 50 years and are approximately 126,000 square feet with 60 instructional units (classrooms). The classroom size is 765 square feet. All K-3 classrooms have a sink and counter space. Both new schools can accommodate 1,000 students each.
Although it has not been done yet, plans are to fence each campus as a safety measure. There is only one inside entrance into each classroom, again a security measure. For those concerned about fire, an overhead sprinkler system is in place.
The art rooms have their own sinks and plenty of cabinets as well as nice-sized tables that are easily washable. The music room in each school is large, and the acoustical ceiling tiles and the sand in these walls will help to act as sound barriers in these rooms.
“We are fortunate that we were able to keep our art and music in the elementary grades, since some school systems have lost these,” Superintendent Gina Williams, PhD., said.
The classrooms are spacious and bright with ample cabinet/storage space. The teachers have been in the schools since July 21 preparing their classrooms for the students, who are to begin Monday, August 1.
Pre-K has two play areas that are gated, and several other gated areas contain wooden and medal picnic tables where an outdoor class can be held. An age-appropriate toilet and sink are provided for pre-K and kindergarten students.
“Fifth grade has a separate hall, the Blue Hall, and eight teachers are on this hall at STES. Grades 1 and 2 share a hall (Orange Hall, as do grades 3 and 4, the Green Hall. Yellow Hall has both 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms on it. Kindergarten (Red Hall) and Pre-K have their own halls. Every hall has a teacher workroom, office space (one for Tattnall Deputy), teacher bathroom, and storage room,” STES Principal Dr. Kristi Kaiser said.
NTES Principal Christine Jenkins commented, “Spacious offices are provided for the registrar, counselor, academic coach, both principals, and a nice front area with rest room access.”
The nurse’s office is much more spacious than in the previous schools, and a roomy waiting room is adjacent to the nurse’s clinic.
The Media Center is large with plenty of shelving for books and other media, even a large screen for presentations, with two connecting computer labs.
The bathrooms are well-designed and the bathrooms for the boys and girls are separated by a short hallway.
The flooring is luxury vinyl tile that does not have to be waxed, and the planks can be replaced, if needed.
The cafeteria is designed with four serving lines as opposed to two in the old schools. Students begin to be served lunch at 10:30 a.m. Breakfast will continue to be served at the schools. Both breakfasts and lunches are free to all students in the Tattnall public school system.
The gym area is a multi-purpose room, which includes basketball goals, a nice stage, rest rooms.
Although work is ongoing this week in various areas of the two schools, and the playgrounds have work yet to be done in both schools. However, the goal is to have each school ready for students on August 1 for the 2022-2023 school year.
“When you think of merging two schools (Reidsville and Collins Elementary), you probably think of chaos and confusion. I would not describe it that way at all. I feel like for NTES, it has a very smooth process and merge,” Principal Jenkins said. “I would like to thank everyone involved in this process for making it such a smooth transition. My goal, as NTES principal, is to ensure that our students, parents, and staff are proud to say that they are part of the North Tattnall Elementary School family. The Tattnall County School System is truly a great place to work. I am so blessed that I had the opportunity to attend school in Tattnall County, and now my children are getting the same school experience that I had by attending Tattnall County Schools. I am very excited about the upcoming school year, and I can’t for all of our students and parents to see our incredible school.”